Picture of a colorful hospital patient room with teddy bear sitting on bed.

Colors are more than just aesthetic choices; they can also have psychological, emotional, and physiological effects on people. In the healthcare industry, colors can play a significant role in influencing the mood, behavior, and health outcomes of patients, staff, and visitors. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways that colors can impact healthcare settings in 2023 and beyond.

Colors and Patient Experience

One of the most obvious ways that colors can affect healthcare is by enhancing or reducing the patient experience. Colors can create a sense of comfort, calmness, warmth, or energy, depending on the hue, saturation, and brightness. For example, blue is often associated with tranquility, trust, and professionalism, which can help patients feel more relaxed and confident in their care providers. On the other hand, red is often associated with excitement, urgency, and danger, which can increase anxiety and blood pressure in patients.

According to a study by Deloitte Global⁴, patient experience is one of the key drivers of healthcare quality and value in 2023. Patients are increasingly expecting personalized, convenient, and accessible care that meets their needs and preferences. Therefore, choosing the right colors for different healthcare environments can help improve patient satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.

For instance, some healthcare facilities may opt for neutral or pastel colors for their walls, floors, and furniture to create a soothing and harmonious atmosphere. Others may use bright or contrasting colors for their signage, equipment, and uniforms to create a lively and stimulating environment. Some may even use color-changing lights or interactive displays to create a dynamic and immersive experience for patients.

Colors and Staff Performance

Another way that colors can influence healthcare is by affecting the performance and well-being of staff. Colors can impact the mood, alertness, creativity, and productivity of healthcare workers, depending on their exposure and preference. For example, green is often associated with nature, growth, and balance, which can help staff feel more refreshed and energized. On the other hand, yellow is often associated with happiness, optimism, and creativity, which can help staff feel more positive and inspired.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company¹, the US healthcare industry faces demanding conditions in 2023, including recessionary pressure, continuing high inflation rates, labor shortages, and endemic COVID-19. These challenges can affect the morale, motivation, and retention of healthcare workers. Therefore, using colors strategically to enhance the work environment can help improve staff satisfaction.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 8/18/2023
(1) 2023 Global Health Care Outlook | Deloitte Global. https://www.deloitte.com/global/en/Industries/life-sciences-health-care/analysis/global-health-care-outlook.html.
(2) US healthcare developments in 2023 and beyond | McKinsey. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare/our-insights/what-to-expect-in-us-healthcare-in-2023-and-beyond.
(3) The Top 5 Healthcare Trends In 2023 - Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2022/12/06/the-top-5-healthcare-trends-in-2023/.
(4) Key Data on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity. https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/report/key-data-on-health-and-health-care-by-race-and-ethnicity/.

August 18, 2023 — U World Store

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